9 June 2021 01:30 GMT
Researchers hope that the Brackett Starshot will reach Alpha Centauri, the closest star system to Earth in 20 years.
A team of scientists from the Australian National University (ANU) says it has found a way to send a spacecraft to another planetary system at speeds much higher than Voyager 1 and 2, which began in 1977, it reported Tuesday Local media.
After exploring our own solar system for decades, especially Uranus and Neptune, Voyagers were able to penetrate the heliosphere And reach the galaxy.
How will they do it?
“We already have several ships, including Voyager [en el espacio interestelar]But they will take many human lives before they approach another star, ”explains ANU astronomer Satura Bandutunga, lead author of the study, which confirms the progress.
As pointed out, the breakthrough Starshot study is expected to reach the star closest alpha center, Alpha Centauri, in just 20 years. To do this, it will have to travel 2,000 times faster Than the galaxy studies we have today.
Scientists estimate that at this time images and measurements will be recorded and sent to Earth, which will take 100 million individual rays To generate approximately 100 gigawatts of optical power.
As the astronomer explains, the technical challenge of the project is to figure out “how we use light to operate a satellite” and “how we get that light from a beam on the ground”. “How to do it on a large scale is unheard of to this day,” he insists.
If your theory is correct, The rays are arranged in the correct combination and number To trigger an investigation into where it should go. “The next step is to test the construction modules in a laboratory,” says Bandutunga.
“This is not science fiction”
Although this is a small study, scientists plan to send more than one unit in the hope that some will reach Alpha Centauri without being destroyed during space travel.
Banduthunga qualified for the project “Very ambitious”, What they want to achieve is to make possible the journey from our star to another star within the span of human life.
“This is made possible by much more advanced technology than we have now, so this is not science fiction, it’s close to the technology of the future,” said Jonty Horner, a professor of astronomy at the University of Southern Queensland.
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